Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

Hi everyone, I have a question about freshening 3 year olds. I am going to be breeding My two 2 year old ND does this fall and was wondering if freshening them at 3 would have any impact on their milk production?  Would the amount be significantly reduced than that of a 1 or 2 year old FF?

Here are some pictures of them

Picture 1 Picture 2  Picture 3  

Credit to My Sister for the photos :)

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Hi, those are pretty goats you have there.  A FF is a FF, I don't think age has much to do with it. It's just a matter of capacity expanding with each freshening and lactation.  

Thank you! That is nice to know; I was going to breed one of them last year but both My herd queen Fiona and Sienna (the pregnant one) were in milk. We only use about 1 quart a day and I was afraid that it would be a waste of good milk. I'm looking into making hard cheeses and soap. Speaking of which; does anyone have or know of a good recipe for goats-milk soap?

No problem. Cheese and soap are great ways to use extra milk, as are yogurt , kefir and cajeta if you like those things. I do have a good basic recipe for goat's milk soap. I've tweaked it a bit recently with different oils, but this one is my go-to and it works out well. You can add fragrance or essential oils if you want. I like the Brambleberry.com site for fragrance and lye calculators and supplies. Here ya go - 

9 oz. frozen goat's milk (all measurements are by weight, not volume)

9 oz. coconut oil

21 oz. olive oil

4.1 oz lye

Before starting any soap recipe, make sure you educate yourself on lye handling and saftety. It's super important!

Combine the oils and heat them to about 100-110 degrees. In a separate heatproof container, slowly add the lye to to the frozen goat milk cubes, stirring constantly, until all the lye had been added and and the milk is no longer frozen. Keep stirring till all the lye is dissolved in the milk. Check the temperature of both your oils and lye/milk solution, they should be within about 10 degrees of each other, the cooler the better. VERY slowly add your lye solution to the oils, then use a stick blender to bring it to a light trace. Once it's at trace, pour it into your mold. 

Because milk has a lot of sugar in it, it can scorch easily and cause your soap to become an ugly brown color. It's still usable, though. To avoid that, I put the mold in the freezer for 30 minutes, then keep it in the refrigerator for 24 hours. After that, leave it in the mold for another 2-3 days at room temperature, then unmold and cut into bars. Put the bars on a rack and allow to cure for 4-6 weeks before using. 

Thank you Julieanne, That is very helpful I will definitely have to try the recipe :)

I've never made soap before so it going to be exciting. I have made yogurt several times with my goats milk and it was delicious! It had a really thick whipped cream like consistency perfect for parfaits. I have been wanting to make cajeta for awhile but just haven't gotten around to it.

Thanks for the Website recommendation. Also I read up on lye handling and precautions last summer for a school project and will be sure to have the proper equipment on hand.  

Isn't Nigerian milk amazing? The creaminess is so good for yogurt and cheese. I kind of accidentally made a hand cream with my milk this year and everyone who tried it went crazy for it. I still have orders to fill and my does are dry. Good thing I froze a lot of milk. 

Yes it is I love it! I'm actually looking into getting a cream separator so we can start making butter. Your hand cream sounds great, it's nice when accidents turn out to be good things! I hope I'll be as lucky as you when I start experimenting with cosmetics :)

Julianne's recipe looks good, but there are a lot of little things that you need to know about soapmaking before you actually do it, which is why the instructions in my books (Homegrown and Handmade, as well as Raising Goats Naturally) are 10+ pages long. If you make some mistakes, the results can be disastrous. For example, you cannot use anything aluminum because lye and aluminum do NOT play nice together. The lye will start eating away, and you'll have black smoke billowing out of your container. And there's a lot more than that. Like I said -- I wrote 10+ pages of info on how to make soap.

FYI -- There is no need to put soap in the freezer or fridge. That's the new "thing" that's been circulating online for the last couple of years. Some of my students asked me about it last year. I've been making soap since 2003 and never done that -- never even heard of doing it until last year. Unless you've overheated your oils, it won't turn an ugly brown color. And if you've overheated your oils, your biggest problem will be seizing, which means your soap mix turns into mashed potatoes and will be lumpy-bumpy ugly. It's weird how these things get spread around online. When I started making soap, everyone was talking about insulating your mold with blankets for 24 hours and NOT peeking even for a second, as if that would completely ruin the whole process because the soap would cool off too fast. It's very weird how the info has swung 180 degrees in the other direction.


Well, I do the chilling thing based on the information in Anne L. Watson's book,  Milk Soapmaking, The Smart Guide to Making Milk Soap. 

She's done a ton of research and experimentation, and her book has an almost 5 star rating, based on over 200 reviews. I think I'll stick to her methods. 


Deborah Niemann-Boehle said:

Julianne's recipe looks good, but there are a lot of little things that you need to know about soapmaking before you actually do it, which is why the instructions in my books (Homegrown and Handmade, as well as Raising Goats Naturally) are 10+ pages long. If you make some mistakes, the results can be disastrous. For example, you cannot use anything aluminum because lye and aluminum do NOT play nice together. The lye will start eating away, and you'll have black smoke billowing out of your container. And there's a lot more than that. Like I said -- I wrote 10+ pages of info on how to make soap.

FYI -- There is no need to put soap in the freezer or fridge. That's the new "thing" that's been circulating online for the last couple of years. Some of my students asked me about it last year. I've been making soap since 2003 and never done that -- never even heard of doing it until last year. Unless you've overheated your oils, it won't turn an ugly brown color. And if you've overheated your oils, your biggest problem will be seizing, which means your soap mix turns into mashed potatoes and will be lumpy-bumpy ugly. It's weird how these things get spread around online. When I started making soap, everyone was talking about insulating your mold with blankets for 24 hours and NOT peeking even for a second, as if that would completely ruin the whole process because the soap would cool off too fast. It's very weird how the info has swung 180 degrees in the other direction.

Thank you Deborah and Julieanne, I am still in the process of putting together a soap making supply list and gathering a variety of recipes to try out. I will be sure I don't get any aluminum utensils, and I will definitely reread the soap making chapter in both Raising Goats Naturally and Homegrown & Handmade before I get started. I appreciate all the advice, it sounds like soap making is quite an experimental process and may take some time for me to develop my own style. I will be sure to post the outcome of my first attempt :)

Thanks for sharing the source of your info. No one had mentioned that book before. 

I simply mentioned that putting it in the freezer is not necessary because if you get into making soap for sale like I do, you may not have enough freezer or fridge space to do that. I wouldn't want someone to think they need to buy another freezer to start making soap on a larger scale. I make seven batches at one time, which I could never do if I were not just sitting them on a table at room temperature.

Julieanne Cook said:


Well, I do the chilling thing based on the information in Anne L. Watson's book,  Milk Soapmaking, The Smart Guide to Making Milk Soap. 

She's done a ton of research and experimentation, and her book has an almost 5 star rating, based on over 200 reviews. I think I'll stick to her methods. 



Julianne, if you have a picture of your soap, I'd love to see it for comparison purposes. I'm curious what it looks like.

I just finished my first batch of goat milk soap - haven't made soap for over 10 years.   It looks good.  Also saw all the freezer info but ignored it.  Never heard of it before.    I also did not cover my soap -  used to years ago but this looks just fine from sitting on the counter.   One article I read said the moisture can evaporate out as easy if covered?  Mine looks fine without all the extra rules - now hopefully after it cures it will suds well.   I used lard, olive oil, coconut oil and a couple of spoons of lanolin. 

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